Sanha Kang - Director of Children and Youth Ministries
This article is supposed to introduce myself, but I am never sure what information is relevant when asked to do so. I should probably start with my name. My name is Sanha Kang (강산하). It means Mountain River, and it was crafted by my father and grandfather. I was born in Korea, but I grew up in America. My family and I moved around a lot until we settled in North Carolina, but even then, my family traveled a lot. My father moved to America before he had met my mother and worked many low-income jobs. I’ve lost count of them all. My mother was an elementary school teacher and moved to America after I was born. Currently, they work at a company called Vision USA where my dad is one of the bosses. The company sells martial arts equipment to schools all across America and internationally.
I say these things first because being not-from-here, an outsider, is a part of who I am. That isn’t to say that I don’t belong anywhere. My parents made sure of that. They are very spiritual Christians with a love for community. Every time we moved, they searched different congregations until they found one that they liked and felt comfortable bringing their kids into that environment. Because of this, I grew up in Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian churches. I think the moving around affected my parents as well because both emphasized a personal relationship with God. They wanted to make sure that I had a strong personal spirituality; that way, I’d always have God no matter what community I was in. My mother especially was very spiritual, and she still prays for me during the early morning services.
I also have two brothers. One of them just started college, and my parents and I are anxiously waiting his first report card. The other one teaches Tae Kwon Do, a Korean martial art. With Vision USA and Tae Kwon Do, my family is somewhat entrenched in martial art culture. I think all members of my family have had some martial arts training, but despite this, I went a very different route.
I was an introverted loner growing up. Books were my life, and the Bible was one of my favorites. I’d sometimes read the Bible in the middle of the night because I didn’t want to sleep. This was the time that my relationship with God started and my love of the Bible sprouted. In a somewhat cliché manner as an introvert, I pursued an intellectual route. But I wasn’t able to express myself as an intellectual until I got into philosophy in college. I graduated from my undergraduate school, East Carolina University, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and philosophy. My English professor was the one who convinced me to take English as a major to expand my horizons, and he was a mentor of sorts. He wanted to be a pastor growing up, but he fell in love with the academy. I’m sort of the same way, I guess.
Near the end of my undergraduate program, I was called to divinity school. God is always a part of my life, and there had never been a time when I looked at my past and didn’t find God in it. So, I trusted God once again and applied to Wake Forest University School of Divinity. My parents weren’t as enthusiastic because they didn’t want me to lead the hard life of a pastor, but God convinced them as well. I earned my Master of Divinity, found incredible friends and communities, and expanded my love for the Bible at Wake. I wanted to keep pursuing the Bible, so I applied to and was accepted at Garrett’s Ph.D. program for Biblical Studies.
Despite writing a full page about myself, I find it so incomplete. Many details I had to leave out to emphasize my family, my spirituality, and my current journey. And in a year from now, I will have to leave out even more details in an introduction. After all, I’d have a year of working as the Director of Children’s and Youth’s Ministry at Faith Church and a year of spiritual reflection with this community. That will add a significant part to my story. Assuming of course that I don’t get crushed under the workload of my Ph.D.
432 59th Street
Downers Grove, IL 60516
Ph: (630) 968-0442
Sunday Morning Worship 10:00 a.m.
Sunday School 9:00 a.m.
(Pre-K to 12th Grade)
Children's Church 10:00 a.m.
(Pre-K to 6th Grade)
* Childcare is available for infants and toddlers during
Worship service and Sunday school hours.